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Building Survey




There are three types of building inspection for a house or flat purchase. A valuation, home buyer’s report and a full building survey. For commercial properties, like shops, offices and industrial units, a building survey may be done before entering a lease to establish its condition and compliance with statutory legislation. It is recommended that a schedule of condition be undertaken before lease commencement.

Some Common Questions Answered

I am buying a 3-bedroom terraced house. I am confused about the different types of survey. I thought that a valuation was a building survey. Also, I don’t understand the difference between a home buyer’s report and a building survey. Why does a building survey cost more?

A valuation is undertaken to establish whether the property is worth, either the amount requested for a mortgage, or, the asking price, or in order to value a person’s estate. A home buyer’s report follows a specific format, at present with a valuation, appropriate for a more basic property. The cost of a full building survey report is reflected in the amount of time spent by the Chartered Building Surveyor undertaking the property inspection and the length and detail of the report which is normally tailor-made to the individual Client’s requirements.

What does a full building survey include?

At CLR Associates Ltd we cover key defects including damp, timber infestation, movement in the building, the general condition and maintenance. The efficiency and safety of the services installations (water, gas, electricity) are also included. The property’s locality/effects of same, transport, trees and local ground conditions if they are likely to damage the property. A commercial building survey also includes written guidance on whether the building complies with current legislation and regulations.

Will my report include any colour photographs?

Yes. At CLR Associates Ltd a full building survey report includes an annotated colour photographic schedule of the significant defects.

Will you tell me if the property needs repairs or maintenance that I need to worry about?

The conclusion section will contain a table of items, in order of importance, which require action within 6 months-2 years, with a budget cost.

Does a full building survey of a flat differ from a house?

Yes. At CLR Associates Ltd a full building survey of a flat includes the common parts and the accessible/visible external areas. Written advice, under the terms of the lease, for the incoming purchaser, on the repairing responsibilities and likely repair costs, will be included in the building survey report. That is dependent upon the purchaser, or their Solicitor, providing a copy of the lease before the building survey inspection is carried out. If a copy of the lease is not available the Chartered Building Surveyor will provide written guidance in the building survey report on the areas of the building that the purchaser is likely to be financially responsible for in addition to the flat.

We’re taking on a lease for our new office. Should we have a full building survey, or a schedule of condition, before we move in, or both?

Telephone 020 8995 1750 and speak to an experienced Chartered Building Surveyor who will guide you on the best solution for your situation.

I’d like to arrange for a full building survey. What do I do next?

Telephone 020 8995 1750 for a fixed fee and to arrange for a tailor-made report to suit your requirements and our recommendations. If we are unable to assist you in a particular case we will advise you if there is a suitable alternative.